Use industrial IoT, AI, machine learning, big data, cloud/edge computing and mixed reality to develop intelligent manufacturing applications.

Smart Manufacturing Industrial Informatics

Smart Manufacturing Industrial Informatics Major

A major in the Manufacturing Engineering Technology Program
in the School of Engineering Technology

Designing and building technology driven, smart processes and equipment requires engineers who have combined strengths in Mechanical, Computer, and Electrical Technology. Industry is seeking engineers with this unique combination of skills to optimize their facilities and improve efficiencies through the incorporation of smart technologies.

The Smart Manufacturing Industrial Informatics major is a hybrid of mechanical, computer, and electrical engineering technologies that focuses on the application of science, engineering, information systems and computing in manufacturing. Students pursuing this major incorporate Industry 4.0 technologies, such as Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), big data analytics, cloud/edge computing, augmented reality (AR), systems modeling and simulation, as well as autonomous human robot systems, additive manufacturing (3D printing and cybersecurity. Graduates of this major are prepared to work as digital manufacturing engineers, manufacturing data analysts, process automation engineers, and smart factory managers.

Industrial Informatics harnesses the power and possibility of digital technology to transform data and information into knowledge to enhance industrial fabrication and manufacturing processes that achieve higher efficiency, effectiveness, reliability and security in the industrial environment. The program places a strong focus on the human use of computing to help people interact with technology in industrial environments in the best and most efficient way possible. 

These technologies, combined with our leading-edge, immersive, hands-on environments, provide students with the hardware and tools to build, develop, prototype and test their innovative projects.

The Polytechnic’s collaboration with such industry leaders as Microsoft, Rockwell Automation, General Mills and Caterpillar ensures that the newest technologies are integrating into the curriculum, enabling our students to learn in physical and virtual representations of the factories of the future, while they use the latest industrial-grade equipment, applications and processes. Students can even spend time in a lab to develop their own products that could eventually go to market.

Smart Learning Factory

On-campus learning factories are real, high-tech manufacturing facilities. Students implement their Industry 4.0 classroom lessons in – such as cloud computing, robotics, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) – to build actual products. Incorporating access to a learning factory expands the students’ understanding of the manufacturing process and prepares them for a high-tech career in manufacturing management.

Aligned with the over-arching Learning Factory, the manufacturing ecosystem consists of three companion facilities that are linked via networks and data streams for real-time information and analytics. Each facility fulfills its own manufacturing need – such as supplying analytics or training, or producing sub-assemblies or end products – thereby completing the supply chain. 

Our production facilities exist thanks to a partnership with the Intelligent Manufacturing Advisory Board.

The Learning Factory is comprised of three elements:

Smart Foundry

The Polytechnic Smart Factory is a working, smart cyber-physical production system (CPPS), that incorporates sensor-embedded, smart micro-manufacturing for metal-casting and small-batch component-making. Here, students design, implement and develop smart manufacturing competencies in an ecosystem of horizontally and vertically integrated processes, while sourcing, designing and assembling production components. Activities feature integration between humans, machines, products and processes, while using system interconnectivity, intelligence and real-time data.

Intelligent Process Manufacturing Laboratory

The Intelligent Process Manufacturing Laboratory connects operations using IoT technology, enabling real-time monitoring with network-wide visibility and remote visualization of processes. Students collect data from sensors and devices, perform analytics, create a knowledge database and develop operational intelligence from manufacturing systems. Using simulation and virtualization techniques, they create digital twins to perform optimization, identify bottlenecks, correct design mistakes and explore process adjustments.

Industrial IoT Laboratory

The Industrial IoT Laboratory incorporates the design, prototyping, testing and implementation of embedded applications, allowing data from product or process to be exchanged across a network using wireless, mobile and internet technologies. Students internalize IoT, data, AI and connectivity to develop applications for remote monitoring, controlling operations across network and develop intelligent Edge applications with cloud connectivity.

Learn more about the new Polytechnic Smart Learning Factory

What can I do?

Digital manufacturing engineer
Manufacturing data analyst
Process automation engineer
Smart factory manager

Where can I go?

Rockwell Automation
General Mills


The manufacturing engineering technology program is accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET,, under the commission’s general criteria and program criteria for Manufacturing Engineering Technology and similarly named programs.

The wide scope of things we learn about manufacturing and the diversity we experience are the favorite things about my major. For instance, I love robotics and wanted to study abroad, so I went on a Spring Break trip to Germany. We saw robotics at BMW and Audi, with a cultural immersion twist!
Danielle Mertens
Manufacturing Engineering Technology
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What to expect in this major

Step into a World of Possibilities!

The Polytechnic learning environment

Our learning experience is designed to produce graduates who not only have deep knowledge, applied skills, and experiences in their chosen discipline, but also problem solving, critical thinking, communications, and leadership skills sought by industries and communities.

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About the school/department

The School of Engineering Technology at Purdue University provides degree programs in mechanical, manufacturing, electrical, industrial, and supply chain engineering technologies, capitalizing on where the disciplines overlap. The learning environment mirrors the engineering teams most graduates will work in. Faculty research projects provide immediate industry results and help students put theory into practice.

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